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Mind celebrates milestone

19 June 2023

MENTAL HEALTH charity Mind is celebrating its national partner Dunelm becoming the 2,500th organisation to sign up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment.

Designed for organisations of all sizes from all sectors, the Mental Health at Work Commitment, part of the Mental Health at Work Programme, is a simple framework and is based on the Thriving at Work standards. It uses up-to-date research, and pulls from existing pledges and standards – so it’s the only roadmap organisations need to follow to achieve better mental health at work. There are more than five million employees at the organisations which have signed up to the Commitment.

Sarah Merrington, head of the mental health at work programme said, “We’re absolutely delighted to have reached this important milestone in our campaign with our partner Dunelm.

“Good mental health is vitally important in the workplace. A 2021/2022 Mind survey of over 41, 927 employees working across 119 employers taking part in Mind’s annual Workplace Wellbeing Index revealed that almost three in five of us (57 per cent) have experienced poor mental health in our current jobs.  

“With so many of us needing help and support, it’s really encouraging to see such large numbers of businesses committing to do more to help their staff but we would like more employers, particularly in the retail and hospitality industries to step up and join this movement.”

The Mental Health at Work Commitment is underpinned by six standards which employers are encouraged to meet, enabling businesses of all sizes to prioritise the mental wellbeing of their staff. Each standard provides ideas to get you thinking and tools to get you started—all aiming to make it easier for organisations big and small to implement each standard and drive change.

The six standards are:

  • Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity

  • Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes

  • Promote an open culture around mental health

  • Increase organisational confidence and capacity

  • Provide mental health tools and support

  • Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting

Dunelm was the 2,500th organisation to sign up to the Commitment and are already living the values. Josie Dickinson, senior belonging and engagement manager at Dunelm, said: “We spend so much time at work and really do care about how our colleagues are. We are a family, we want our colleagues to bring their whole self to work every day as that ultimately makes us much stronger.  It’s no longer ok to expect colleagues to leave their problems at the back door. That doesn’t help anyone.

“One of the most important things about looking after people’s mental wellbeing is around leadership because I think by putting this commitment in, it shows that our leaders are taking this really seriously.

“A lot of the work we do is around education – we really, really try and educate people on what is available internally and externally to support them. We have implemented Wellbeing Buddies across all sites. They’re like walking talking sign posters We’ve trained all our Regional coaches, Store coaches and currently training our Deputy coaches, as mental health first aiders to help give them knowledge and confidence to support their colleagues wellbeing. By the end of this year we will have over 450 colleagues trained and have plans to continue this over the coming years. 

Josie added: “Signing the Commitment shows your colleagues that you really do want to improve and genuinely care about them and their wellbeing. The Commitment isn't just sign and forget, we implement the actions and continue to work on the action plan within it – and that shows our colleagues what we're going to do to continue to support them.”

To find out more about Mental Health at Work, and to sign up to the Commitment, visit https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/commitment/